Flick pumped in 'Hawks jersey

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- One by one, the Chicago Blackhawks started to rid themselves of big guys who can score.

The cap-constrained Stanley Cup champions traded man mountain Dustin Byfuglien and swapped prospect Akim Aliu, the former Knight, too.

It was a luxury they could afford. There are more powerful forwards on the way.

Like 19-year-old Londoner Rob Flick, for example.

This week at the NHL rookie tournament at his hometown John Labatt Centre, the six-foot-three, 204-pounder showed some soft hands by burying a goal against the Ottawa youngster. He also dropped his mitts to take on Senators hopeful and Windsor Spitfires toughie Adam Wallace, a Woodstock native.

"It's the first time I fought him (the smaller Wallace)," Flick said. "It went OK."

Tuesday afternoon, he took on Pittsburgh's Geoff Walker, a six-foot-three, 225-pounder who is 22 years old and has already played two full pro seasons.

The Hawks blew out the Penguin rooks 9-5. If the London Knights defence lives up to its reputation, Pens pick Reid McNeill may never be on a team giving up nine again this season.

"It's been exciting this week," Flick said. "It's the first time I've been able to put on the Blackhawks jersey and you always want to go out there and show them you're serious about becoming a pro and playing for the big team as soon as you can."

Last year, Flick scored 15 times and had 157 penalty minutes in his second OHL season with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. Shortly after winning the Cup, the Hawks grabbed him in the fourth round, 120th overall.

"I didn't go to the draft (in Los Angeles), but I was following it at my billet's house in Mississauga," he said, "and then my agent (Brian MacDonald, who also represents Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri) called me to tell me it was Chicago.

"I watched them in the playoffs and the Stanley Cup final and it's a great organization."

Flick, the former high school hockey champ with Mother Teresa, worked out with local fitness guru Jeff Van Damme this summer. He already skated at the United Centre during a mini-camp "but not when it's full and everybody's yelling and screaming," he said. "I haven't experienced that yet."

He will, though, play for the team under the biggest microscope in the Canadian Hockey League this year. The Majors are the Memorial Cup hosts and their head coach Dave Cameron is also in charge of the Canadian world junior team.

"He brings a lot of intensity every day," Flick said. "I know when it's world junior time, he's going to give it everything he has and the rest of the year, his focus will be on us and pushing us to be better. We've already talked about making sure we go into the Cup as the (OHL) champions. That's our goal."

Flick was 14 when the Memorial Cup was played in London.

"I went to the first round-robin game when the Knights beat Rimouski and Sidney Crosby," he said, "and I watched the final on TV."

Next May, he'll be the one on the big stage at the Hershey Centre.

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